As a business, it is important to review processes and working practices from time to time.
However, in the maelstrom of a busy office life, it’s easy to forget or to let this essential process slide.
That’s why we embraced the growing trend of a hackathon.
What’s a hackathon? It is a term used particularly in the industry of software developers where companies look at improving programming. It combines the word “hack”, meaning exploratory programming, with “marathon”, to give the sense of an intense, long period. It can last a day or a week.
When we held one recently at Infigo for a day, we extended the concept to the whole team – not just developers - giving everyone a chance to come up with new ideas. Staff from Moldova, Germany and Manchester joined us in Sussex for the occasion, bringing our entire European team together to ensure a real sense of collective effort and team unity.
First thing in the morning, everyone had to present an idea or ideas, whether it was to make an improvement to their own job role, to help the business or to make a difference to someone else’s job role.
As you can imagine, this serious day had a fun side – bonding. There was plenty of banter and, of course, new skills were involved – for example not everybody is comfortable standing up and presenting to others, because they don’t have to do it regularly.
Staff then had the whole day to put their plan into action, whether it was coming up with software improvements or a new process in other areas, for example to ensure we were maximising efficiency from our administrative and accounting software as we grow.
At the end of the day, everyone had to do a five-minute presentation on the progress they had made.
Everyone came up with something different, concerning a variety of aspects of the business. We found three or four things that could be implemented straight away and several others that will help us use existing systems more cleverly.
We also considered several ways in which we could service our web-to-print software clients even better.
It was a very useful experience, not least because we got to know each other better, as well as each other’s jobs better. Understanding each other’s roles can only help make us an even better team and serve our customers better.
At the end of a great day’s team bonding, we finished with a few drinks and a trip to AirHop, the trampoline park in Guildford, to let our hair down and relax as a group.